Category Archives: Four-toed statue

The four-toed statue IS Taweret! ABC confirms it!

I called this back in March! Yay, me! 😉

ABC has now confirmed it, very quietly, without any fanfare, just by mentioning it in passing in an Episode Recap on the Official ABC site.

… The Man in Black leaves and addresses the Man in White as Jacob. Yes, this is Jacob. The camera pulls back over the ocean, and we see they were sitting on the base of a giant stone foot. And next to the foot is another foot — and both feet have four toes. And as the camera pulls back, we see what we’ve been waiting to see since we first glimpsed that four-toed foot over three years ago… the towering, majestic statue of the Egyptian goddess Taweret.

So that’s it! All the debate on fan sites about whether the statue is Taweret (the hippo goddess) or Anubis (the jackal-headed god) or Sobek (the crocodile god) has now been resolved, not with a bang, but with … well, not a whimper, but certainly with less fanfare than I had expected.

The posts where I called this, back in March:

The Giant Four-Toed Statue

I’m now totally convinced that the four-toed statue is Taweret.

Two screencaps, and a photo of a real Taweret statue:

The four-toed statue as seen in 5x08 "LaFleur"

The statue as seen in 5x08 LaFleur

Statue as seen in Season 5 Finale, The Incident

Statue as seen in Season 5 Finale, The Incident

A real Taweret statue, in the Rosacrucian Museum of San Jose. Photo by Tom Fowler.

A real Taweret statue, in the Rosicrucian Museum of San Jose. Photo by Tom Fowler.

Editing September 22, 2009 to add: There is now additional official ABC confirmation. “Taweret” is the correct answer to the “placement-exam” question “The four-toed statue is believed to represent which of the following gods?” posted today on the ABC promo/ARG site LOST University.

Photo credits:

Statue in Season Finale: Lost-Media

Statue in 5×08 LaFleur: Lostpedia

Statue in the Rosicrucian Museum: Tom Fowler

Anubis and the Smoke Monster hieroglyphics

Hieroglyphic in Smokey's Lair Episode 5x12

Hieroglyphic in Smokey's Lair Episode 5x12

This hieroglyphic was on what seemed to be an altar in the underground temple that is Smokey’s lair.

The snake-like creature on the left is probably Smokey itself. The creature on the right, whose hand is outstretched with an offer of something (food?) for Smokey, looks a lot like the jackal-headed Egyptian god Anubis:



Anubis was the god who protected the dead and brought them to the afterlife. That certainly fits in with the world of LOST, with all its undead characters wandering around.

There’s been a big debate, among LOST fans, about whether the four-toed statue is meant to be Anubis or the goddess Taweret. I’d thought it was Taweret, based on the similarities of the headdresses, the toes, and Taweret’s mission of protecting pregnant women. The appearance of the Anubis hieroglyphic, though, in such a prominent place in Smokey’s lair, suggests that even if the statue is Taweret, Anubis must also play an important role in the history of the Island.

Editing to add: Answers people have given for “Other” in the poll are “It’s not offering, it’s welcoming,” “The Golden Apple of Discordia,” “Tootsie roll pop… ‘how many licks does it take’,” “Nothing – the hand is just outstreched towards the monster,” “Blessings,” “Nothing,” “A heart,” and “A heart to be weighed (judged).” Good answers!

Screencap (lightened and cropped) from Lostpedia, (c) ABC. Picture of Anubis via Wikipedia GNU FDL

Michael Emerson talks about the statue, Alpert, Egypt, John Locke, and more

Here’s Michael Emerson (who plays Ben) in an interview last month with the Washington Post:

Liz: Will we find out what the deal is with the four-toed statue?

Michael: You are going to learn more about the world from which that statue came. I don’t think we’re going to see the statue again in context, but maybe. You’ll certainly know from whence it is a relic.

He also repeats the claim I’ve seen before (most notably in a Wikipedia article), that Richard Alpert is not wearing eyeliner:

Liz: Is Nestor Carbonell — who plays Richard Alpert — wearing eyeliner?

Michael: No. But he has a kind of genetic beauty that is a rare thing in men or women. No, that’s what he looks like when he wakes up in the morning. It’s hard not to study his face and admire it.

Ha! But Alpert has a dark line that goes straight across the bottom of his lower lid! Was he really born with that, or is everyone who makes that claim just pulling our leg?

Also from the interview:

Liz: Well you’ve probably just put to rest several theories about Alpert being a transplant from ancient Egypt.

Michael: Ah. Well, hold that thought about Egypt. That’s all I’ll say.

So whether or not Alpert is from ancient Egypt, the statue may very well be.

Emerson also says that he has “some crackerjack scenes — epic, vintage Ben and John Locke coming up — in ways you would never expect.” That’s great! The Ben-Locke pairing is one of my favorites.

There is lots more in the interview, including Emerson’s thoughts on whether Ben is purely evil, or if he’s a good person doing whatever it takes to reach his goal, and what kind of roles Emerson would like to play in the future.

I’m now totally convinced that the four-toed statue was based on Taweret

Here’s another picture, where the resemblance is especially clear:

Taweret, the hippo fertility goddess. in the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose, California.  Photo by Tom Fowler

Taweret, the hippo fertility goddess. in the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose, California. Photo by Tom Fowler

The round thing on top of this statue’s head is identical to the one on “our” statue. The ears are very similar. The toes — I count four.

It’s no wonder that in LaFleur we could see the statue only from the back — look how distinctive the front is! One glimpse of the front, with its pregnant belly and its hippopotamus face, would have given it all away.

Here are some interesting things about Taweret (sometimes spelled Tauret or Taurt) from the site Ancient Egypt Online:

Taweret … was a patron of childbirth and a protector of women and children….

Initially she was viewed as a dangerous and potentially malignant force…. She represented the … stars of Ursa Minor and Draco … who guarded the northern sky. The northern sky was thought to be cold, dark and potentially dangerous …. However, by the Old Kingdom she was seen as a protective rather than an aggressive force…. As a result, Taweret became a mother goddess and a patron of childbirth….

She was thought to help women in labor and to ward off evil spirits and demons who intended harm to mother or baby….

According to “The Book of the Dead”, Taweret guarded the paths to the mountains of the west which led to the underworld and could also use magic to help the deceased pass safely through that dangerous and frightening land.

Expectant mothers often carried amulets depicting Taweret to invoke her protection….

She was associated with so called “magic wand” or “magic knives” used during labour to ward off evil….

She was depicted as the combination of a crocodile, a hippo and a lion…. She had the paws of a lion, the back of a crocodile and the head and body of a pregnant hippo but with the addition of a woman’s hair. She often wears a short cylindrical headdress topped by two plumes or the horns and solar disk of Hathor, bearing the “Sa” (representing protection) or the ankh (representing life)…..

With so many things about Taweret relating directly to the story of LOST, I think there can be little doubt that the Island statue was based on statues of Taweret. The only remaining question is whether the writers meant for the Island statue to be a statue of Taweret herself (and if so, would that mean the Island was at one time populated by ancient Egyptians?) — or whether the writers used Taweret as a jumping off point, an inspiration to create their own original mythological being.

Photo of the Goddess statue at the Rosicrucian Museum (c) Tom Fowler

The giant four-toed statue

The statue as seen in 5x08 "LaFleur"

The four-toed statue as seen in 5x08 "LaFleur"

In the beginning of LaFleur, the Lost-ies were startled to see the back of this giant statue.

It is, of course, the famous four-toed statue that we first saw in the finale of Season 2.

From episode 2x23

From episode 2x23

This past December, producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, in one of the “Dharma Special Access” podcasts they made to keep us entertained during the long off-season, had promised that we would see the statue again in Season 5 — and so we have — and that we would see it even more extensively in Season 6.

So I guess we’re going to have to wait until next year for the mystery of the missing toe to be solved.

(The part about the statue starts at 3:40):

The statue reminds me of the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away

I found a clearer picture of the statue, along with two pictures that compare it to possible inspirations: Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead, and Taweret, a goddess in the form of a hippopotamus who was a protector of women in pregnancy and childbirth (!). The resemblance of the Island’s statue to Taweret is striking. Both have similar toes and are wearing virtually identical headpieces. Take a look.

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